Saturday, June 23, 2012

On the GOP and Jesus

"I felt so far from my upbringing, from my narrow former self, the me who was taught the Republicans give a crap about the cause of Christ.  I felt a long way from the pre-me, the pawn-Christian who was a Republican because my family was Republican, not because I had prayed and asked God to enlighten me about issues concerning the entire world rather than just America."

From Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller

Sometimes, when reading Blue Like Jazz, I feel like I'm reading a biography of my own life.  I, too, grew up thinking that everyone who loved Jesus had to be a Republican.  I grew up thinking that Jesus hated government and taxes.  I grew up thinking what everyone around me was telling me to think.

One winter, I was spending a weekend with my grandfather in New Hampshire.  It was a nice break.  At that time, I was going to school at one of Boston's sixty-odd universities.  One of grandpa's friends came by and greeted me, "Why aren't you down in Massachusetts learning how to be a democrat?"

"You, shut up," Grandpa retorted.  "We're trying to keep him from that!"  That was a critical moment in my introspection.  I began asking myself what I really thought and valued. . . or, rather, if I thought and valued anything for myself.

Funny thing is, I considered myself a Republican all through my days in Boston.  I don't anymore.  I don't really consider myself a Democrat, either.  Maybe I am, and my history just won't let me admit it.

What changed?

Well, I read the Bible.

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